KINGSPORT — Gloria Gammell has joined the University of Tennessee as its liaison and representative for the higher education center being built downtown.
UT, King College, Lincoln Memorial University and Carson-Newman College have joined with Northeast State Technical Community College for the Kingsport Center for Higher Education, set to open in the fall of 2009.
The concept of the center — built by the city and to be operated by Northeast State — is that Northeast State will offer the first two years of instruction, with the four-year schools providing the last two years and bachelor’s degrees.
Gammell, who began working for UT on Aug. 1, said the university plans to have physical classes at the center in the future, but its initial offerings will be the online classes and degree programs offered by its various campuses statewide.
“Initially UT’s contribution will be the existing online degree programs,” Gammell said, adding that students without broadband Internet access would be able to use computers at the higher education center.
She said a few of the 26 degree programs require in-person appearances at the campus where the programs are based, and some others would have locally based internships.
All but one — the UT-Martin bachelor’s degree in university studies tailored to adult learners with existing college credit — are graduate or doctoral programs.
King already has rented space downtown but plans to move into the center, while LMU and Carson-Newman also plan to have staff in the center.
Gammell’s official title is program manager for UT at the higher education center, but she said she sees herself as the “face” of UT in Kingsport — a liaison, clearinghouse, resource and advocate for UT’s participation in the center and its online offerings.
Of particular interest to Eastman Chemical Co. officials is the master’s of science in engineering management from the UT-Space Institute in Tullahoma, a program geared toward people with a bachelor’s degree in engineering who have moved into management.
Gammell said she is working to get institute officials to Kingsport to hold an information session on that degree program.
Other online degrees include master’s of science degrees in education from UT-Martin, in social work from UT-Knoxville, and in agriculture and natural resource system management from UT-Martin.
Gammell moved to Johnson City from Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1993 and now lives in Erwin. She has been on the adjunct faculty at East Tennessee State University for four years, teaching student development in the college environment class in the Human Development and Learning Department. She said most of her students in the course are seeking higher education on the graduate level.
Gammell said her background is mostly in academic advising and overseeing weekend and evening programs for adult learning.
A native of Fairfield, Ohio, she has a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University, a master’s in higher education administration from Eastern Michigan University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eastern Kentucky University.
In her off time, Gammell said she enjoys gardening, traveling, hiking and biking.
Gammell said she is available to talk with area civic clubs and other groups about UT’s higher education offerings. For more information on the UT online programs, Gammell can be reached at 354-2498 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her temporary office, courtesy of Northeast State President Bill Locke, is in the Regional Center for Applied Technology across the street from the higher education building site.
For more information on UT and its online degree offerings go to www.tennessee.edu.